The Clark Township Volunteer Fire Department can trace it roots back to 1948 when a group of local citizens obtained a 500gpm pump which was mounted on a trailer. At that time, the nearest fire truck was located in Sault Ste. Marie. To respond to a local fire the Sault Fire Department would have to travel more than 40 miles over unimproved roads. The need for a local fire department was great.
In 1950, Clark Twp obtained its first fire engine, a 1948 Chevrolet with an inline 6 cyl engine carrying a 500 gpm pump and 500 gallons of water on board.
In addition to old Engine 2, the CTVFD has a rescue unit, two pumper engines, a tanker, and a fire/rescue boat. The CTVFD also operates a snowmobile which tows a rescue sled.
Rescue 1 is equipped with the “Jaws of Life” rescue tool and its compliment. This enables the department to perform extractions from automobile accidents. It also carries rescue saws that can be used to cut a ventilation hole in a roof, cut down a burning tree in the woods, or a hole in the side of a burning house to perform an emergency rescue. Other items equipped on this truck include flotation suits and rope that is used to perform an ice rescue. It also carries an assortment of hand tools and generator lights. This Rescue Truck will be replaced in the Fall of 2017. A new one has been ordered that will meet all of our specifications. This truck takes approximately 10 months to construct. The mileage for this new vehicle was passed in 2016.
Engines 3 and 4 are pumper trucks. These trucks carry ladders, hose, air packs, and some hand tools. Both truck carry 1,000 gallons of water on board. Truck 3 has a 1,000 gpm pump on board. Truck 4 is equipped with a 1,500 gpm pump. Both trucks are capable of emptying their water tanks in a minute or less when operated at 100% power.
Tanker 5 is the newest vehicle in the fleet. This truck is one of the most advanced tankers in the country. It is filled by removing air from the tank. Water is drawn into the tank by vacuum. This system is much faster than conventional pumping, more fault-tolerant, simpler, and can draw water from great distances. This truck is equipped with two drop-tanks of 3,500 gallons each which can be connected together or placed in separate locations (such as one for each pumper) depending on the need. It is also equipped with automatic traction chains that deploy at the push of a button. This is handy when climbing ice-covered hills with a full tank of water. This truck has two cameras that help the driver see directly behind and to the right of the truck, eliminating most blind spots.
The Fire/Rescue boat carries pumps and hoses needed for fire operations on any of the 36 islands of the Les Cheneaux area. It is also used to perform patient rescue and transport when assisting the Ambulance Corps with island calls. It is equipped with state-of-the-art radar and GPS navigational systems.
The CTVFD also performs joint rescue operations with the Clark Twp Volunteer Ambulance Corps (CTVAC) during winter months using the snowmobile and rescue sled. We are also equipped to perform ice rescues using various flotation suits and devices.
We also have, thanks to Aid to Firefighters Grant funds, an air refilling station. We are now able to refill our air packs at the fire hall. This system was also used to assist the MSP Dive Team in a recovery effort during the fall of 2010. This system enabled them to double the amount of underwater operational time each day.
We also purchased two Ice Commander Rescue Suits. These will be very beneficial in ice rescues. Four Scott air packs were also purchased and these are much lighter in weight and have a larger air capacity. Also, in March 2014, four life vest were purchased for the Rescue Crews safety on our waters.
The Department also received a 4-wheeler and trailer from Homeland Security. Each County received one of these and our Township was chosen to get it for Mackinac County. It is very versatile, can hold 4 passengers and can use either tires or a track system.
The Clark Township Volunteer Fire Department is looking for new members to join us. This is a very rewarding activity and a great service to the community. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Fire Chief Clark O'Brien or stop by the Township Offices for an application.